Therapy for Therapists

So you’re a therapist looking for therapy.

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(Listen in here.)

I’ve been in your shoes many times before.

And while we bring to the table a certain understanding about how this all works and the importance of the relationship between client and therapist, it’s still a delicate dance to find the right person to do our work with.

I’ve been lucky enough to work with a number of therapists as clients and over time it’s become a pretty key part of my practice.

The awkward challenges of finding therapy for therapists.

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There are some unique pieces that go along with doing this kind of work with someone who’s in the business.

As you may know, I am an attachment therapist.

It’s what I was steeped in in my earliest days of training in 2005, and so I approach all my work with all my clients in this way.

But there’s far more to finding therapy for therapists than simply matching with a therapist who has a particular skill set and a shared perspective on whatever brings you in.

We need to know we’re in good hands.  We’re internalizing everything from business policies to attachment styles when we choose a therapist to work with.  We need to find someone we respect but who isn’t in our closest circles.

It’s a challenge to be sure.

Therapy for therapists—digesting our clinical work.

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So, as you might expect, given the work we do and the wholehearted way we hold our people, including our clients, it can leave us open to burn out.

It can leave us feeling pretty depleted.

We are keepers of sacred stories, deep pain, our own but also all those that our clients bring. 

It’s a unique kind of responsibility, isn’t it?  It’s a special kind of burden, and privilege.  And so my work with clients who are also therapists will often involve a talking about their clinical work.

And it’s different from supervision, right?  Because I’m not holding your clients’ treatment plan in mind—I mean, we might move a little into that territory, about case conceptualization—but really I’m curious about how is it to be with that client, and what is stirred in you, and how are you doing?

And how does this intersect with your own history?  How does it touch the parts of you that are tender and questioning?

Your therapist doesn’t hold an evaluative role like a supervisor does, and they know far more about your history so that they can move into this questioning territory with a depth that supervision simply can’t access in the same way.

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And so, as I comb through in my mind thinking about therapists I’ve worked with, their clients come into the room between us in the stories that they tell. 

And you know, that makes sense, because the responsibility we hold to preserving confidentiality, it kind of runs counter to what we know at a neurobiological level.

In order to prevent being traumatized, we need to share things—right?  This is part of what our clients receive when they sit with us—a sharing and a being accompanied.

And yet, do we get the same privilege?  No.  Because our job is to hold and keep confidentiality, to protect our clients and the space between us.  And yet that can leave us open to sitting alone deeply with some profound and awful things.

And so, your own therapy is a place to unpack that and to be with that.  (But you already knew that, of course.)

Therapy for therapists—healing our own wounds.

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And then, too, there’s you know—I suppose every therapist is different, just like any other client and what brings them in– where I do my best work is helping people heal their attachment wounds.

And so, the people who come to see me are generally not looking for solutions or skills so much as a place to be held deeply. 

And I’ve got skills, I’ve got tools and I read books every now and again and I’ve been doing this work a while, but that’s not generally with the people who really feel like they’ve arrived where they’re supposed to be in my practice, that’s not what calls them in.

I usually work with my clients for years and if you’d like to do that, I’m game. Well, I don’t know when you’re listening to this and what my caseload looks like, but if I have a spot and you want it, let’s talk.

But the point is that as therapists, we bring a unique sort of dilemma to the table.  The isolation that comes with holding all these stories and secrets, and there’s no place for it to go.

There’s a reason we came to this work.  Healing our own attachment wounds is one of the best ways I know to become a truly skilled therapist—to embody all that learning we receive in a deep and genuine way.  There’s simply no shortcut for it.  It’s just a part of the practice.

Therapy for therapists—running a healthy practice.

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There’s also the consideration, too, about if you own your own business, whether you accept insurance or not, you’re a business owner and entrepreneur.

And that beings a unique set of opportunities and dilemmas, doesn’t it?

And then add in further that as therapists lots of us have hang ups around money because most of us didn’t set out to be in this profession because we wanted to make a killing in earning big income. 

It’s not generally a profession that’s known for that—and yet, as it turns out, there’s a great need for talented therapists and it’s possible to flourish in this industry as we practice our craft.

And yet we can receive a lot of messages, there’s a real underbelly, a shadow side to our profession that judges people for making “too much money.” 

And it sets us up to dwindle, it sets us up to burn out.

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And burn out is a real problem in our profession.

I felt the inklings of it when I was still in my internship, so I know how pernicious it can be, and how it can come on slowly.

Sometimes with my clients who are therapists, we talk about money, we talk about boundaries, we talk about business policies and how to have a business that truly reflects our values and isn’t guided by our traumas and our shame.

Because in so doing, in holding ourselves gently in those ways with strong policies, we hold our clients better and we hold ourselves better because we have what we need to flourish.

And we set those boundaries lovingly and gently, without shame.

So another thing that I find myself doing, which is a little bit like business coaching but it’s way more than that because it’s tapping into where we’re getting stuck and why—because if it were just a matter of raising your rates and changing it on your website, you probably already would have done it.

There’s a reason why charging those no-show fees make you feel icky.

And so, that’s part of what I like to unpack, too, with my clients who are therapists and business owners.

Therapy for therapists—dual relationships & matching well.

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So if these pieces sound familiar, let’s chat.  If I’m not the right therapist for you, I’m sure I can help you find somebody who is!

I know a lot of us and you do too, and we can do the dance of finding somebody you can work with that you don’t know so well that it would be awkward to run into them in a professional context but where you can still get your needs met.

That’s another one, isn’t it?  That’s another dilemma when we do this search.

“Who can I see and have that be held in a way where the other realms of my professional identity can be honored and protected,” and of course there’s intermingling of that, it’s complex.  It’s complex as hell.  So that’s another part, isn’t it?

So, let me help you do that dance.  If it’s not to match up with me to do this work, I’d love to help you find someone that you can do this work with.

And I wish you the very best on your journey.  It’s such important work that you do.  And your clients are lucky to have you.

I’d love to be able to hold you so that you can hold them—and everybody else in your circle—because isn’t that what it’s all about?

Thanks for reading,


PS:  If you’d like to set up your free consultation to chat more about working together, touch base with me.